Discovering Desitin: Baby Diaper Rash Cream Turned Skincare Savior

Fast Facts About Desitin

Type of Ingredient: Healing and Protective
Origin: Chemical, namely zinc oxide
Main Benefits: Heals and protects the skin from rashes and irritation
Who Should Use It: Anyone experiencing skin irritation or discomfort
How Often Can You Use It: As needed, but usually not more than 3 times a day
Works Well With: Most skincare products, including lotions and creams
Do Not Use With: Products that may cause further skin irritation, like harsh exfoliants
Best Desitin Product: Desitin Maximum Strength Baby Diaper Rash Cream

What does Desitin do in skin care?

Desitin, primarily known as a diaper rash ointment for babies, can be a wonder-worker in the adult skincare world too. Rich in zinc oxide, it works as a physical barrier on the skin, protecting it from irritating substances and moisture. This makes it an excellent choice for individuals who are dealing with skin irritation, redness, and chafing. It soothes the skin and promotes the natural healing process.

What is Desitin?

Desitin is a skincare product with zinc oxide as its active ingredient. It was initially intended for use on diaper rashes in babies, but it has found its way into the adult skincare arena due to its protective and healing properties. It can be used to relieve and prevent rashes, soothe skin irritation, and protect the skin from the harsh effects of wind and water.

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Desitin Benefits and Uses

Barrier Protection

Desitin’s main job is to serve as a barrier between the skin and potential irritants, such as moisture and harsh substances. This barrier protection can help to prevent rashes and skin irritation.

Healing Properties

As a result of its barrier function, Desitin can aid in the healing process of already irritated or damaged skin by keeping it moist and reducing friction.

Comfort for Chafing

Desitin can help reduce discomfort from chafing, whether it’s due to physical activity or clothing. Applying it to affected areas provides a layer of protection, reducing further irritation and helping the skin to heal.

Soothing Effect

Its soothing effect on the skin is another benefit of Desitin. When applied, it immediately helps to relieve any discomfort or itchiness associated with skin irritations.

Preventing Diaper Rash

Desitin’s original and most popular use is to prevent and treat diaper rash. It provides instant relief and forms a protective layer on the baby’s skin to seal out wetness and provide a barrier against irritants.

Best Desitin Products

Desitin’s product line-up is compact but effective. Their Maximum Strength Baby Diaper Rash Cream is the go-to choice for both infants and adults. It contains the highest level of zinc oxide available without a prescription and works to both soothe and protect the skin.

Sale Desitin Maximum Strength Baby Diaper Rash Cream with 40% Zinc Oxide for Treatment, Relief & Prevention, Hypoallergenic, Phthalate- & Paraben-Free Paste, 4.8 oz Desitin Maximum Strength Baby Diaper Rash Cream with 40% Zinc Oxide for... @ Amazon Amazon Prime
Sale Desitin Daily Defense Baby Diaper Rash Cream with 13% Zinc Oxide, Barrier Cream to Treat, Relieve & Prevent Diaper Rash, Hypoallergenic, Dye-, Phthalate- & Paraben-Free, 16 oz Desitin Daily Defense Baby Diaper Rash Cream with 13% Zinc Oxide, Barrier Cream... @ Amazon Amazon Prime

Comparing Desitin Maximum Strength and Desitin Daily Defense

When it comes to diaper rash creams, Desitin offers two popular options: Desitin Maximum Strength Baby Diaper Rash Cream and Desitin Daily Defense Baby Diaper Rash Cream.

Desitin Maximum Strength, as its name suggests, is the most potent of the two. It contains 40% zinc oxide, which is the highest concentration you can get without a prescription. This high level of zinc oxide makes it an excellent choice for severe diaper rashes and other significant skin irritations. It can offer immediate relief and long-lasting protection.

On the other hand, Desitin Daily Defense contains 13% zinc oxide. It’s designed for mild to moderate diaper rash and can be used as a preventative measure as well. Its formulation is smoother and easier to wipe off compared to the Maximum Strength version, which can be a bit thicker and harder to remove.

Both products are hypoallergenic, paraben-free, and dermatologist tested. However, the choice between the two often comes down to the severity of the skin irritation. If you’re dealing with a significant rash or skin issue, Desitin Maximum Strength is your best bet. For milder issues or daily skin protection, Desitin Daily Defense is a fantastic option.

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Is Desitin Safe?

Desitin is considered safe for both babies and adults. It’s important, though, to use it as directed and to avoid applying it to deep or puncture wounds or areas of skin that are severely burned or blistered. If you notice any signs of an allergic reaction, such as hives, itching, or difficulty breathing, you should stop using it and seek medical attention.

Side Effects and Risks of Desitin

Though side effects from Desitin are rare, some individuals may experience a mild stinging sensation or increased skin irritation when the product is first applied. If these symptoms persist or worsen, stop using the product and consult with a healthcare provider.

How to Use Desitin

Desitin can be applied directly to clean and dry skin. It should be spread in a thin, even layer and can be used up to three times a day, or as needed. For babies, it’s often applied during each diaper change, especially at bedtime when exposure to wet diapers may be prolonged.

What can adults use Desitin for?

While Desitin is commonly associated with babies and diaper rash, its benefits extend to adults too! It’s packed with zinc oxide, known for its skin-protecting properties, making it a versatile addition to any adult skincare regimen.


Desitin can provide relief from skin chafing, whether it’s caused by physical activity, tight clothing, or heat. It forms a protective barrier, reducing friction and irritation.

Skin Irritation and Rashes

From heat rashes to skin irritation caused by allergies, Desitin can help. Its soothing properties can alleviate discomfort and promote healing.

Minor Burns and Sunburn

Desitin can also be used to soothe minor burns and sunburn, providing relief from pain and inflammation.


Some adults have found Desitin helpful for acne due to its high zinc oxide content. However, this should be approached with caution and ideally under the guidance of a dermatologist, as Desitin is not explicitly designed for this use.

Dry, Cracked Skin

Desitin can provide relief for extremely dry, cracked skin, especially on hands and feet. It forms a protective layer, preventing moisture loss and promoting skin repair.

Bottom Line

Desitin is a versatile skincare product that’s not just for babies. Its healing and protective properties make it a useful addition to any skincare routine, particularly for individuals dealing with skin irritation, redness, or chafing. So, the next time your skin is feeling a bit under the weather, remember, Desitin might just be the skin soother you’re searching for!


1. Can Desitin be used on the face?

Yes, Desitin can be used on the face, but avoid the eye area and do not ingest. It’s also recommended to patch test first due to the sensitive nature of facial skin.

2. How long does it take for Desitin to work?

Desitin starts working immediately by forming a barrier on the skin, but the time it takes to heal the skin can vary depending on the severity of the skin irritation.

3. Can I use Desitin if I have sensitive skin?

Yes, Desitin is typically safe for use on sensitive skin. However, if you notice any signs of an allergic reaction, stop using the product and consult with a healthcare provider.

4. Is Desitin only for diaper rash?

No, while Desitin is traditionally known as a diaper rash cream, it can also be used to soothe and protect adult skin from irritation and chafing.

5. Can I use Desitin every day?

Desitin can be used as often as needed, but usually not more than three times a day. It’s always important to follow the directions on the product packaging.

Jen Roberts Glowing Gorgeous

Jen Roberts

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About our Chief Editor

Jen Roberts, is a passionate beauty specialist and blogger with a deep love for skincare and wellness. More about me here.


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